Rebecca Loftus and Nicole Gazey have collaborated to establish Idea Academy, an unconventional educational choice for young students in Australia. With their diverse backgrounds in science, teaching, and counseling, they offer a unique outlook on education. They are devoted to assisting creative and entrepreneurial students, and their commitment to this is evident in the way they have designed the academy.

Idea Academy is intended for students aged 15 to 24 who want an alternative to traditional education. It offers both full-time and part-time options, and students can build professional networks, connect with workplaces, and develop skills to prepare for their next phase. Situated in the city, it is accessible to students from all walks of life.

A Challenging Process

The process of creating Idea Academy was challenging for Rebecca and Nicole. They had to pitch their idea persistently and even attended a pitching event just four days before Rebecca’s childbirth. Nevertheless, their perseverance and passion for providing an unconventional educational option for young people have paid off. Idea Academy is a testament to their vision and hard work, and it is sure to make a positive impact on the lives of many young students in Australia.

Team Effort

Working with children and teenagers can be difficult, particularly when dealing with a volatile age group. Parents often feel apprehensive about entrusting their children to others, particularly when their children are struggling with school and life. However, working as a team can significantly improve the lives of these young people.

They have found that parents appreciated their ideas because they were part of a team effort. Instead of taking control and dictating what to do, the team collaborated with parents and engaged them in the process. This approach is similar to the primary school model, where parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s education.

The team’s approach involves enlisting parents as part of the plan and maintaining a broad network of connections to provide comprehensive strategies for the young person. The team meets the child where they’re at and works with them, even if they can only make it to school sporadically. They find something for the student to engage with, and even small efforts can make a significant difference.

Parents have praised Idea Academy’s approach, noting a positive change in their child’s behavior. Students who once refused to attend school now show up every day. They meet them where they’re at and work with them to keep them motivated and engaged. The Academy’s comprehensive strategy also includes having a reference point and a vast network of connections. This ensures that they can provide support and resources whenever the young person needs it.

Beyond the academic challenges

Assisting young people not only with their academic struggles but also with life challenges, they provide support and resources to help students cope with mental health, social issues, and family problems. With their comprehensive strategy, they can help young people overcome these challenges and realize their full potential.

In summary, Their approach is an excellent example of how involving parents in the process can make a significant difference in the lives of children and teenagers who are struggling with school and life in general. 

Parents are no longer hesitant to entrust their children to others, but instead, they are involved in the process, making it a team effort. A comprehensive strategy, a broad network of connections, and a focus on helping young people cope with life’s challenges are all critical factors that contribute to their success. This approach is a positive step towards helping young people reach their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.


Rebecca and Nicole are inspiring examples of problem solvers and innovators in addressing the need for alternative education options for young people in Australia. Their passion and unique perspective, combined with their hard work and determination, have resulted in the creation of a school that offers students opportunities to develop their creative and entrepreneurial minds. 

Idea Academy is a testament to their vision, and it is sure to make a positive impact on the lives of many young students. As we reflect on their story, let us consider the persistent problems in our own lives and how we can approach them with the same spirit of problem-solving and innovation.

And if you enjoyed Nicole and Rebeca’s talk and are excited to see more game changers, feel free to check out the Changing the Game podcast, either on YouTube or on your preferred platform.